“We know nothing; we are at sea in a whirlpool of conjecture.” Thomas Wakley, Editor of The Lancet, on the spread of Cholera, 1853
For centuries, the cause of infectious disease remained elusive while physicians struggled to find answers. Beginning in the Middle Ages, poisonous, unseen vapors that reeked in the nostrils were blamed for diseases such as Cholera, Tuberculosis, Measles, even Influenza. These “miasma” could strike at any time. No one felt safe.
It would be the work of many skilled physicians and scientists, men like Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur, that would reveal the truth. Microscopic bacteria and viruses caused infectious diseases, spreading quickly from one person to another. These discoveries have led to the development of vaccines, antibiotics, and modern health standards that have greatly increased the quality and longevity of our lives.
Knowing what leads to the transfer of contagions has been a literal life-saver for millions over the past two centuries, but there is another infectious villain that is more elusive, catching us in its grasp. It is the infection of sin:
Then Haggai said, “If one who is [ceremonially] unclean because of [contact with] a corpse touches any of these [articles of food], will it be unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will be unclean.” [Ceremonial uncleanness, like sin, is infectious.]Haggai 2:13
Unlike many diseases that can now be fully prevented, sin will never be eliminated from our lives while we live in this world. Still, with God’s help we can be aware of what, or who, tempts us to sin, avoiding situations that would lead us down that destructive path. What is around us will influence not only our physical health, but our spiritual health as well. Take caution today…sin is infectious!